Effects of Acute Chronic Stress and Sexual Arousal in Men

In this study, ten unemployed men (high chronic stress) were exposed to two erotic videotapes and their arousal responses were compared to a matched group of normal controls reporting no unusual stress.  Acute stress was induced by telling the men that they would have to give a public talk on their own sexual behavior and fantasies and the stressful nature of this task was confirmed by their cardiovascular responses. Sexual arousal was evaluated by measuring penile tumescence. Half the men were told about the talk before seeing their tape and the other half were told in between the two erotic tapes, The results showed that the unemployed (high chronic stress men) had significantly less sexual arousal when acutely stressed prior to viewing the videotapes. There was no difference between the two groups when the acute stress of having to give a talk on personal sexual fantasy was presented between the two tapes. The authors thus concluded that the impairment of erection occurred as a result of a combination of both chronic and acute stress.